Hi Torrey, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been doing pretty well! Excited for the holiday season, as I know many are!
Can you tell us more about the story behind your track ¨Miles¨?
I wanted to write a song that had more blues-y vibes than I have had previously, and it was so much fun putting this track together! We got to work with a bunch of sounds I’ve never used before, like horns, which was an awesome experience. It’s about a long-distance relationship that isn’t sad or angsty. Have you ever noticed that? Why are all songs about long distance relationships broody and sad, saying how much it sucks? I’ve had a couple of long-distance relationships, friendship and otherwise that have turned out to be amazing experiences, and wanted to shed hope onto the subject. This song is really meant for that long distance, unconventional couple that communicates totally online, but would do anything to be with each other, even if it means moving across the world. I wanted a song that gives people hope! Love to me isn’t about all the superficial stuff society makes it about. It’s about how much love you have for a person, and how you are willing to grow and communicate together to make your dreams a reality.
Did any event in particular inspire the song?
Yes, actually. I had a boyfriend who I dated for almost seven months who this song was about. Even if we aren’t together right now, being with him was always this amazing, positive experience and I didn’t see reason why the song still couldn’t provide all of the hope that it’s meant to to these kinds of couples. The song has become a part of my Exhale in recent events because it was such a good relationship, and it feels right to have something to remember the goodness of the relationship by. I hope that other people are able to share optimism with each other in making their respective relationships work, so they can one day be together and make it a reality.
The single comes off your new EP Exhale – what´s the story behind the title?
Actually, there is quite the story behind the title and what it means. To me, Exhale is all about taking charge of your own life, and being the source of happiness in it. It came from when I was in an emotionally abusive, toxic relationship that got me to a really low place, and made me believe that I couldn’t pick myself up. It wasn’t until I found a strength inside of me and let go of all that had hurt me over those months that I had the strength to get out of the situation completely. Exhale as a title is all about finding a soft, but strong kind of strength that blinds even the worst of someone’s fears. It is something I have lived my life by ever since that event, and plan to continue living by throughout my life.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was a huge learning experience, filled with all kinds of challenges and triumphs. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing producers and songwriters out of both Orange County and Los Angeles for this project, including songwriter Lena Leon, who has written for Coco Jones and Christina Grimmie, and Tario Holmes, who had just gotten off a tour with Juicy J at the time. Three of the songs on this EP got re-done for the project, but only two of the revised versions made it to the final draft, so making these revisions to former songs I’d written and putting the whole project together was a really cool process. Some of the songs came more naturally in the writing, and most of the revisions took no longer than an hour. This project, as my debut EP includes some remade versions of formerly released singles, and some completely unheard material I’m very excited about.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Honestly, each song on this EP has played a role in my past, or present self, and is structured this way to show everyone different colors of the things that have been most important to me over the years, and that I need to “exhale” somewhere. “Miles”, ”Lies & Lipstick”, “Looking Glass”, and “Snake Bite” were all inspired by real events from my past. “Miles” is from the more recent past, as I just ended a long-distance relationship I was proud of that made me want to share that joy with others, and remember the relationship in a positive light, “Lies & Lipstick” was written about the number of girls I have seen get completely absorbed in superficial things that do not matter, and as a result, have hurt other women trying to get what they want. It’s a tongue-and-cheek fire-y reflection of these kind of people from my past. “Looking Glass” is about the many years I struggled with body image, and low self esteem. I nearly dipped into eating disorder territory at one point years ago, and it was scary at the time. So many people go through this at some point in their life, so I wanted to write it for all who relate. Finally, “Snake Bite” is about a different toxic relationship I mentioned that I got out of at the end of 2012. It includes all of my feelings on it, beginning, middle, and end, and everything I learned from pulling myself out of a relationship like that. So the title track “Exhale” wraps up the EP by bringing it all together to my current self, and some lessons that I have learned through the process moving forward. I hope other people in these situations can identify with the lyrics, and find power in them.
How did you come up with the idea for your anti-bullying project, The Pledge Tour?
It took years of developing ideas, honestly. I began anti-bullying related work in 2011 after I graduated high school and performed on the “No Bully Tour” for kids all across the country. After charity events, and online spreecasts with fans and followers about these subjects, I was invited by a follower to host an assembly at their son’s middle school. The assembly went so well that we continued booking from there, and eventually this became the beginning of our program. Now we are a fully established program that addresses character development themes such as kindness, bullying, cyberbullying, embracing diversity, and following your passions. It’s about making a personal “pledge” to yourself to be the best person you can be. This is a company I run along side with my music, and they are of course related to each other!
How can people help?
Let me know if you are excited about any of these projects! You can find info about “Exhale” on my social media, and about “The Pledge Tour” on its social media. But above all, they can help others by constantly working to improve themselves, and to be the best version of themselves they can possibly be in all areas. If you can do that for yourself, it will show, and that kind of power and positivity is contagious!
The Pledge Tour Links:
Any plans to hit the road?
We just might have them soon, yes! No announcements yet though, check back on my social media for details on that!
What else is happening next in Torrey Mercer ´s world?
Honestly, there’s a lot we are working on that I’m so excited about. Everything feels filled with opportunity these days, and having the chance to write songs and perform for certain people over the next couple of months is going to lead to some exciting things! New music after the EP will definitely be on the horizon. Thanks for the interview!
Listen “Miles” HERE